Written By: Marcus Luttrell
Narrated By: Kevin T. Collins
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA
Date: May 2012
Duration: 14 hours 0 minutes
Lone Survivor is a 2013 American biographical military action film based on the eponymous 2007 non-fiction book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. Set during the war in Afghanistan, it dramatizes the unsuccessful United States Navy SEALs counter-insurgent mission Operation Red Wings, during which a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team was given the task of tracking down the Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. The film was written and directed by Peter Berg, and stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Eric Bana.
Lone Survivor Audiobook Summary
Follow along a Navy SEAL’s firsthand account of American heroism during a secret military operation in Afghanistan in this true story of survival and difficult choices.
On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy SEALs left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less then twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs remained alive.
This is the story of fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Redwing, and the desperate battle in the mountains that led, ultimately, to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. But it is also, more than anything, the story of his teammates, who fought ferociously beside him until he was the last one left-blasted unconscious by a rocket grenade, blown over a cliff, but still armed and still breathing. Over the next four days, badly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell fought off six al Qaeda assassins who were sent to finish him, then crawled for seven miles through the mountains before he was taken in by a Pashtun tribe, who risked everything to protect him from the encircling Taliban killers.
A six-foot-five-inch Texan, Leading Petty Officer Luttrell takes us, blow by blow, through the brutal training of America’s warrior elite and the relentless rites of passage required by the Navy SEALs. He transports us to a monstrous battle fought in the desolate peaks of Afghanistan, where the beleaguered American team plummeted headlong a thousand feet down a mountain as they fought back through flying shale and rocks.
In this rich, moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare — and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Upon first learning of the book in 2007, Berg arranged several meetings with Luttrell to discuss adapting the book to film. Universal Pictures acquired the film rights in August 2007, after bidding against other major studios. In re-enacting events, Berg drew much of his screenplay from Luttrell’s eyewitness accounts in the book, as well as autopsy and incident reports related to the mission. After directing Battleship (2012) for Universal, Berg resumed working on Lone Survivor. Principal photography began in October 2012 and concluded in November, after 42 days. Filming took place on location in New Mexico, using digital cinematography. Luttrell and several other Navy SEAL veterans acted as technical advisors, while multiple branches of the United States Armed Forces aided the production. Two companies, Industrial Light & Magic and Image Engine, created the visual effects.
Lone Survivor Audiobook Reviews
First, I think the narrator does an incredible job. I don’t think it is important that his “fake Texas accent” isn’t perfect, but he is clearly a professional and inserts great emotion into the story telling. Sometimes a bit over the top, but that’s OK, he’s an actor and that’s his job. He does a fair job trying to mimic other American dialects based on the characters speaking, too.
The story itself is also remarkable. I won’t spoil it, but what Marcus went through and how he describes it is a work of art.
What I disliked most was the author’s incoherent and regular bashing of his political enemies. He sounds less like a professional warfighter and more like a partisan spokesmouth when he does. I’m perfectly fine with an occasional jab that highlights how Government policies made his job harder. A bit of name calling is OK too, as I understand how passionate Marcus is about these things. I get all that. However, I’m not interested in recurring 10-20 minute rants about it. I don’t want to take a break in the action of a gunfight to hear about the evils of American media, the rules of engagement, or other laws in which Marcus feels should not apply to him. This book could have been trimmed by at least an hour just removing the political rants.
My advice: Unless you enjoy political talk shows and tabloid opinion pieces, fast forward through the rants and enjoy the rest of the book, because it’s excellent. I too am a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan and I understand the hardship, though I’ve never suffered to this extent.
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Lone Survivor opened in limited release in the United States on December 25, 2013, before opening across North America on January 10, 2014. It received generally positive reviews; some critics praised Berg’s direction, as well as the acting, story, visuals and battle sequences, while others derided the film for focusing more on its action scenes than on characterization. It grossed over $154 million, of which $125 million was from North America. It was chosen by National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2013, and received two Oscar nominations for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
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